To prepare for an apartment viewing, plan ahead by:
- making a checklist that contains all your ‘must-have’ features,
- jotting down a list of questions,
- confirming the availability of parking,
- confirming where you will meet the leasing agent, and
- budgeting in some time to drive around the area.
It’s also a good idea to bring your ID, cash, checkbook and look on Google Maps ahead of time (or similar digital map) to check out what’s around the area. This way, on the day of the tour, when you go drive around, you are more familiar with the area.
Below are 9 specific ways you can prepare for your apartment viewing / apartment tour.
Quick Summary Video (if you prefer) and then keep reading:
1. Prepare Checklist of what you want
Prepare a checklist of what you want from an apartment. If you are touring more than one apartment in a day, you can simply put a checkmark next to each building that meets your requirement. Generally speaking, most people will tour about two to three apartments in a day.
2. Ask questions before you go
Call the building and ask questions to ensure the apartment viewing meets your checklist. Some examples include, is there a washer/dryer, is there a dishwasher, is there central heating or cooling, what is parking availability like, rent cost, security deposit, pet-friendly etc.
This will ensure you are not wasting your time.
3. Bring your paperwork, ID, and funds
If you love an apartment and want to apply, then it’s handy to bring your paperwork and ID in advance. Some things to bring with you include driver’s license, social security, car license plate and vehicle information, check book, and certified funds (cash, money order, etc) if you plan on putting down a deposit on the day.
Ask ahead for what documents and funds are needed if you are interested.
4. Where to meet the leasing agent
Find out where you need to meet the leasing agent. Will you be meeting them in the office, a model apartment or the actual apartment that is available? Where do you park?
5. Whether other families / prospects will be visiting
When talking to the agent, find out if this viewing is just for you or if there are other people coming along.
6. Make an appointment where necessary
In some cases, an appointment may be needed, so make sure you organize that before visiting the apartment.
7. Make a list of detailed questions
Write down questions you want to ask the agent in advance so you don’t end up forgetting. You can also bring a notepad if you want to take your own notes, which can be helpful later if you need to make a comparison. Apartments that don’t meet your criteria can be crossed off quickly, allowing you to make a decision faster. Here are top questions to ask before signing a lease.
8. Drive around the area
Once you inspect the apartment, leave time to drive around the area to make sure you are comfortable with it before committing to a lease. Is it close to amenities and shops? Do you have to travel far for basic conveniences?
9. Confirm whether you’ll be able to see the exact apartment
To make sure you are comfortable with the location and area, find out if you can see the location of the exact apartment you are living in and not just a model apartment. This will give you a much better idea of location and space. If it’s occupied, at least make sure you know where the apartment will be in the community.
Use this guide to help you better prepare for your next apartment viewing. Then, when ready, begin your apartment tour and viewing process.
Apartment Viewing Etiquette
Some other tips to keep in mind during the day of as generally accepted apartment touring etiquette
Arrive on Time
It is important to arrive on time. This is always a common courtesy.
Bring your Documents
Bring all the documents you need to put down a deposit and rent. Ask ahead of time as this can vary.
Bring all Parties
If you have roommates or significant other, bring all adults that will actually be living in the apartment.
Prepare your questions up front. Generally, the rental agents are busy and have only allocated so much time to your appointment.
Respect the Active Residents
Respect that you are touring an active community with real residents who are residing there. Try not to make too much noise going through the hallways or when touring. Be respectful.
What to Bring With you on Apartment Viewing?
As mentioned earlier, you should ask the rental agent what to bring if you decide to put down a deposit. Generally speaking, you might be required to bring:
- Driver’s license
- Social security
- Vehicle information
- Job History
- Pet Information
- Proof of Employment and Income (although this can usually be supplied later)
- Funds – check book or certified funds (cash, money order, etc)
That’s it. Each apartment tour usually takes about 35 minutes, but we say to allow for an hour. Plus you will need time to drive around the immediate area. Hopefully this guide is helpful in preparing for your apartment viewing.